Midtown Sacramento 21st & J

Many Yeses

In my lifetime I have found many, many spiritual communities and writings that have drawn me closer to love and opened me to new wisdoms. Most of those are from the Christian family, but many of them are from other spiritual and wisdom traditions.

When I was young, I was powerfully affected by several writings of Zen buddhists. These actually were the first times I read material that opened me up to a spiritual life. I often credit Zen Buddhism for allowing me to say, “Yes!” to a life in Christ. I had not allowed any spiritual conversation in my own mind, or spiritual practice in my own life until I read that material. And so, I give thanks for Zen Buddhism’s impact on my own spirituality.

Later in my life, Sufi thought and writings from authors such as Hafiz and Rumi have been wonderful for my openness and learning openness to joy. Those writers are associated with Islam.

I am a joyful follower of Jesus. I call myself a “Jesus-ian.” That puts me square in the camp of the Christian family. But as a United Methodist, I can claim and receive and welcome and celebrate all sources that lead me to love, to kindness, and to mercy. And especially to justice.

So as United Methodists, I encourage you in the season of Thanksgiving to welcome all the sources that lead you to thankfulness, to justice, and best of all, to love. And all of those can be a part of our souls at our depths. We are a United Methodist family, saying, “Yes” to all traditions that lead us to love, that does mean we have to sometimes say, “No.” Some materials and some influences in our lives, especially noted from our modern “news medias” are often built around leading us to hate, to judgement, to separating ourselves from the rest of the human family and God’s values. So, I encourage you to say “Yes!” to many, many, MANY sources of wisdom and goodness. And, to say, “No” when no is necessary. That which leads to thanksgiving, and joy, and mercy, and justice, and LOVE? Those are sources we receive with joy. Any sources that lead us away from those vital spiritual processes and commitments? To those we say no. And that results in a life of many yeses. And a few necessary nos.

Bless you! Happy Thanksgiving! I looking forward to celebrating Advent with you this season.

With love, your pastor,


More articles